5 Cancers Commonly Found in Larger Breed Dogs

Aimee Beck
3 min readOct 7, 2021

In an earlier post, we talked about mast cell tumors. What are they, what causes them and how you can diagnose and treat them.

But there are plenty of other cancers that affect dogs of all ages, breeds … and sizes. In fact, some cancers are more common in larger dogs than in smaller dogs.

Did you know that a study found that 68.3% of golden retrievers were diagnosed with some form of cancer? And 65% of golden retrievers were determined to have died or have been euthanized because of cancer.

So let’s talk about five cancers commonly found in large dogs.


Hemangiosarcoma, a cancer that develops from blood vessels, with tumors typically developing in the spleen, liver, skin or heart, can affect any breed. However, hemangiosarcoma is most often found in male:

  • German shepherds
  • golden retrievers
  • Labrador retrievers

Stomach Cancer

While not the most common of canine cancers, stomach cancer can be difficult to treat because symptoms often don’t appear until the cancer has reached an advanced stage.

Dogs with stomach cancer often develop malignant tumors, which can spread to other parts of the body.

The following breeds seem to have a predisposition to stomach cancer:

  • rough collie
  • Staffordshire bull terrier
  • Belgian shepherd dog
  • chow chow

Soft Tissue Sarcoma

This type of cancer often presents as a collection of malignant tumors affecting connective tissues, such as fat, muscles and cartilage. They can show up anywhere on the body, but are typically found on the limbs, chest or abdominal wall.

Soft tissue sarcoma can affect dogs of any age and breed. However, it is most often diagnosed in older, large-breed dogs. Golden retrievers, saint bernards and doberman pinschers are known to be at higher risk for developing this type of cancer.

Testicular Cancer

Aimee Beck

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